Jan. 15, 2008 -- Britney Spears' divorce, child custody battle and bizarre breakdowns appear to have taken a greater toll on her than most people know.
According to In Touch Weekly, days before her Jan. 3 breakdown, Spears left a suicide note on her bathroom counter that was allegedly found by friend Sam Lutfi.
"The letter was very [sad]," a friend close to Spears told In Touch. "It was filled with reasons why she shouldn't live, included lines from poems about death. She said in it she was sorry for never making her life what everyone else wanted. She mentioned how lonely and unfair life could be, how peaceful death seems and how your mind would finally be at ease ... She went on and on about wanting to just rest in peace."
Things are not looking up for Spears. Because she failed to show up to a child custody hearing Monday, choosing instead to go out to lunch and church, she remains unable to see her two sons.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon decided to keep in effect an order suspending Spears' right to visit Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1. The boys will remain in the custody of Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline.
Another hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 19.
A slew of people testified at Monday's family court hearing, many of whom saw Spears' bizarre Jan. 3 breakdown.
Court spokesman Allan Parachini said those who testified included two Los Angeles police officers; Paula Strong, the court-appointed monitor who was present for the visit at Spears' home; Lisa Hacker, a parenting coach who has been working with Spears and Federline; and Lonnie Jones, the bodyguard who went to the home to get the children Jan. 3.
According to celebrity news service TMZ.com, the witnesses "presented a deeply disturbed picture of Spears" that led the court commissioner to believe that mental health is the root of Spears' problems, not substance abuse.
Outside the courthouse after the hearing, Federline's attorney said that while his client felt the ruling was correct, he wants Spears to be a part of his sons' lives.
"The word victory is not something Mr. Federline or his counsel would ascribe to this. There is no joy. This is a grave situation for all," Mark Vincent Kaplan said, adding, "his goal, his hope for the future is at some point he will be able to parent the children with the participation of their mother."
Pressure's On to Play the Part of a Good Parent
Spears hasn't had a good history of showing up to hearings in recent weeks. Dec. 12, she called in sick for a court-ordered deposition, then arrived nearly two hours late on its rescheduled date, Jan. 3.
Spears arrived more than three hours late to Monday's hearing. She briefly pulled up to the L.A. courthouse in a black sport utility vehicle and got out of the car, but never went inside. She drove off moments later surrounded by a swarm of paparazzi.
Now more than ever, pressure is on for Spears to own up to her parental responsibilities. Jan. 3, police were summoned to the pop star's home during a meltdown in which she refused to hand over Sean Preston and Jayden James to Federline's security guard and locked herself in a bathroom with one of the boys.
She surrendered custody after a three-hour-long standoff with cops and was subsequently taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she stayed for two nights. Various reports allege Spears was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The day after the incident, Kaplan presented papers to Gordon, who awarded sole legal and physical custody of the boys to Federline and suspended Spears' visitation rights.
Since checking out of the hospital, Spears has been seen around Los Angeles with photographer and potential new boyfriend Adnan Ghalib. The two reportedly hit up West Hollywood's Westfield Mall for a shopping spree the day before her scheduled court hearing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.